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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













September 3, 1996





James E. Tol

September 3, 1996

Page 1



James E. Tol

7595 16 Mile Road

Cedar Springs, MI 49319


Frank Wsol, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 710

4217 S. Halsted Street

Chicago, IL 60609

Lawrence Brennan, President

Teamsters Joint Council 43

2801 Trumbull Avenue

Detroit, MI 48216

James E. Tol

September 3, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-896-JC43-SCE




James E. Tol,  a member of Local Union 406 and a candidate for International vice president on the Stand Up Slate, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 International Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”) against Local Union 710 and Joint Council 43.  Mr. Tol alleges that Joint Council 43 improperly used union funds to pay the expenses of its president, Lawrence Brennan, to attend a “steward seminar” sponsored by Local Union 710.  The protester further alleges that Mr. Brennan’s presence at the event constitutes campaign activity and that all Stand Up Slate candidates for International vice president should have been notified of the event and invited to attend.


Mr. Brennan, a candidate for International vice president and an opponent of Mr. Tol, contends that the only Local Union 710 function he has recently attended was a steward’s dinner which took place on August 10, 1996.  Local Union 710 and Joint Council 43 further contend that no campaigning occurred at this event.


The protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Bruce Boyens.


James E. Tol

September 3, 1996

Page 1



Frank Wsol, secretary-treasurer of Local Union 710, provided evidence that the annual Local Union 710 steward’s dinner was held on August 10, 1996.  For the occasion, a cruise boat was reserved and a meal was served during a two and one-half to three and one-half hour excursion on Lake Michigan.  Mr. Wsol and Local Union 710’s attorney spoke to the assembled stewards on the topics of the national presidential elections and various labor law issues. 


Mr. Brennan states that he was invited to attend the function in his official capacity as an officer of Joint Council 43.  He also states that the Executive Board of Joint Council 43 authorized his trip.  Both statements are confirmed by the Joint Council Executive Board minutes dated August 8, 1996.   The protester has provided no evidence showing that campaign activity occurred at the steward’s dinner. 


The Rules, at Article VIII, Section 5(a), in relevant part, read as follows:


(3) The Local Union need not allot time for campaigning during any of its meetings.  However, if campaigning during such meetings is permitted, the Local Union shall notify all candidates for the positions for which such campaigning will be permitted of the opportunity to speak at least five (5) days prior to the meeting and shall divide the time equally between those candidates (or the candidates credentialed representatives) who request an opportunity to speak.  The order of appearance shall be determined by lot.


(4) A Local Union shall not discriminate or permit discrimination in favor or against any candidate in conjunction with its meeting or otherwise.  This requirement shall apply not only to formal presentations by or on behalf of candidates but also informal campaign activities, such as, for example, comments on candidates during meetings . . .


The Rules thus set forth campaigning procedures for local union meetings which are non-discriminatory and pre-planned.  An opportunity to campaign at a union meeting must be made equally available to all candidates, with advance notice.  See Kapitula, P-1104-LU401-PHL (November 22, 1991). 


But while the Rules require that all candidates and campaigns be treated equally with respect to attendance at local union meetings to campaign, these provisions are not applicable unless campaign activity occurs. 


Here, campaign activity has been denied both by Mr. Brennan and Mr. Wsol.  Nevertheless, the protester argues that Mr. Brennans mere presence at the meeting, regardless of his official position at Joint Council 43, is adequate evidence of campaign activity. 


James E. Tol

September 3, 1996

Page 1



The Election Officer has previously recognized the right and responsibility of union officers to conduct their official business.  Martin, P-010-IBT-PNJ et al. (August 17, 1995) (decision on remand), affd, 95 - Elec. App. - 18 (KC) (October 2, 1995).  The Rules permit union officers who happen to be candidates, such as Mr. Brennan, to attend union sponsored functions in their official capacities, so long as no campaign activity occurs. 


The Election Officer finds that Mr. Brennan attended the union stewards dinner sponsored by Local Union 710 on August 10, 1996 in his official capacity and that there is no evidence that campaigning occurred in connection with that event.


Based upon the foregoing, the protest is DENIED. 


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one day of receipt of this letter.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Officer in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing and shall be served on:


Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

Latham & Watkins

885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

New York, NY 10022

Fax (212) 751-4864


Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 400 N. Capitol Street, Suite 855, Washington, DC 20001, Facsimile

(202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Barbara Zack Quindel

Election Officer



cc:               Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Bruce Boyens, Regional Coordinator